Arrow takes us straight to the future, and boy is it bleak. “Star City 2040” reunites mother and daughter, details their complicated relationships, and sees them reunite under the threat of a massive bomb levelling the city – we’re practically back to square one.
The birth of Mia Smoak may be like many others – her mother giving birth to her with her loving father by her side – but her childhood is not. At a very young age she is trained to become a fighter by none other than Nyssa al Ghul, and her combat training continues up to Mia’s teenage years, which is when she is presented with her very own bow.
Felicity and Mia were very close once, but their relationship starts to deteriorate when Mia finds a secret project her mother had been working on; Felicity has been hacking into a dubious company in the Glades. Mia condemns her mother’s illegal actions and accuses her of vigilantism.
Mia blames her father’s vigilantism for her messed up childhood, which included rough training sessions and home schooling, and lots of isolation. She leaves home after the argument with her mother and makes her way to Star City, where she gets a black star tattoo and starts a new life as a prize fighter.
We flash forward a bit further to Mia and William struggling to scale the wall surrounding the Glades. They follow the coordinates Felicity left for them and end up in front of Galaxy One. The siblings dress to impress and walk in pretending to belong. When they run into trouble they are saved by Connor, or rather Agent Hawke – an agent of knightwatch (the “good” version of ARGUS). Mia confronts him about lying to her about who he really was. Her genuine upset leads us to believe that Mia and Connor share a bond well beyond friendship.
The trio (dare we say OTA 2.0?) come up with a plan: Connor will monitor the basement of the building where they believe Felicity to be held, while William and Mia meet with the CEO of Galaxy One under false pretenses, swipe his DNA from a mug to replicate it and gain access to the sublevel.
The children are actually successful and they find Felicity and are able to free her, but she is less than happy to see them. She wanted them out of the country, as the whole building is rigged with bombs.. Mia refuses to help her mother and accuses her of putting heroism before her family, but William joins Felicity is in her mission to disable the bombs.
Meanwhile Dinah, Roy and Zoe are trying to find more information on Felicity’s disappearance, and they learn an organization called Eden Corps has paid the SCPD to fake her death, and make their way to Galaxy One, where they reunite with Felicity and William. After having a conversation with Connor about their hero parents and the responsibility that comes with being a legacy, Mia and Connor join the gang once again.
Instead of the bombs the team finds Rene, who was involved in the whole attack and tells them the bombs are going off tonight during an Independence Day celebration They learn the only way to stop the bombs is by disabling them via the cube carried by the CEO William met with earlier. The team, now donning long coats and Sleep No More-esque masks join the party and Mia ultimately identifies him and takes the final shot that destroys the device.
In a telecast afterwards Rene publically blames the attack on the vigilantes, Roy, Dinah and Felicity and offers a 10 Million Dollar reward for their capture – dead or alive. It Is also revealed that Eden Corps goal is to take Archer global and to eliminate vigilantes for good. Mia and Felicity have a heart-to-heart following their time apart, and Felicity tells her daughter that she is proud of her, while Mia claims to sympathizes with her mother after having witnessed her in action and being crucified for it.
Mia mentions that the mission to stop Archer seems personal to her mother and as we flash back in time to 2019, we see Felicity working on the very same program, a specific form of AI.
This week’s episode is completely taken over by the flash forwards and brings that story line to a climax (at least for now) and by doing so becomes infinitely more interest than previous episodes of the season. We learn more about the relationship between mother and daughter and have them reunite, and we also learn a bit more about Mia’s childhood, as sad as it might have been without her father. But where “Star City 2040” had the chance to answer a few questions, it simply continued to raise them.
Why did Oliver and Felicity have to leave Star City before Mia was born? Why did they not tell anyone about the pregnancy? Where the hell is Oliver, and how long has he been absent from their lives? Why was NYSSA AL GHUL of all people training Mia when she was younger (rather than, I don’t know, JOHN DIGGLE or THEA QUEEN even? How long was Mia on her own in Star City before meeting Connor. How did that relationship develop? What exactly is Archer and why did Felicity develop it?
But most importantly we now wonder, where do we go from here? Is this an episode that sets up a whole new spin-off featuring the OTA’s children taking on Eden Corp and continuing their parents work?
Felicity: Hey, I was thinking vintage movie night? Jordan Peele marathon?
Rene: And who are you?
Felicity: This is Mia. These are mine and Oliver’s impeccable genetics.
Rene: You and Oliver have a kid?
Catch Arrow Mondays 8/7c on The CW.